Double Masks Decrease Infection Risk

Double Masks Decrease Infection Risk

New research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shown double-masking decreases the exposure to potentially infective aerosols by about 95%.

The results of the research show double-masking using a surgical procedure mask with a cloth mask over the top is more effective than either type of mask worn alone.

The results would suggest more reliable protection for ancillary staff such as reception and practice managers as well as the general public. 

The CDC still recommends U.S. clinical dental staff carry on using  dental surgery appropriate recommended PPE.

Previous studies have shown that cloth masks and medical procedure masks fit more loosely than do respirators (e.g., N95 facepieces).

The research found that the effectiveness of cloth and medical procedure masks can be improved by ensuring that they are well fitted to the contours of the face to prevent leakage of air around the masks’ edges.

The CDC’s official website said that during January 2021, the CDC conducted experimental simulations using pliable elastomeric source and receiver head forms in order  to assess the extent to which two modifications to medical procedure masks could improve effectiveness.  

The researchers found that by wearing a cloth mask over a medical procedure mask (double masking) after  knotting the ear loops of a medical procedure mask where they attach to the mask’s edges, fit could be improved considerably.

“Tucking in and flattening the extra material of the cloth mask close to the face could improve the fit of these masks and reduce the receiver’s exposure to an aerosol of simulated respiratory droplet particles of the size considered most important for transmitting SARS-CoV-2” said the website.

The released new research can be found here.


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